The journey of parenthood is a constant emotional rollercoaster. It can feel impossible to turn off the hamster wheel of checklists, ideas, future decisions, past decisions, and responsibilities. It is so overwhelming, but I truly believe that most people are out here trying to do the best they can to create happy, productive lives.
Part of creating this happy and productive life is occasionally checking in on ourselves to ensure we are taking the time to enjoy our lives in between the grinding. Eat that food you REALLLLY love. Create something. Find that perfect pair of shoes. Admire the creativity of someone else. Buy office supplies and organize your calendar with 25 color-coded post-its and highlighters. Basically, I believe that we should all personally connect to an outlet that supports our well-being.
When we moved to Pittsburgh with a baby, a puppy, and my husband in the most intense training of his life, my outlet was an adult tennis league. This later turned into me joining an existing book club with my tennis friends. I loved it. The book club truly combined my favorite things… reading, talking, and snacking. I loved being in a book club so much that a few years later, I convinced some fellow pre-K mamas to help me create a new one.
I quickly realized that these two groups of women needed different things. The book part of the pre-K mamas book club was struggling after two years. I decided to ask everyone to try a local farm’s wreath-making class for the Christmas/Holiday party activity. I planned on telling the group that, despite loving the social time with everyone, I was stepping down from organizing the group.
We had a fantastic time making wreaths at this adorable farm and I couldn’t help but feel so sad to give up this wonderful social time with such a special group of friends. As we were preparing to leave, someone from the group asked the farm owner, Mrs. Kaelin, where she grew up. She told us that 60 years ago, she moved from downtown Pittsburgh 19 miles north to “all this empty land” to start farming 140 acres with her new husband. She told us that the huge suburban area that we all know is nothing like the place she moved to 60 years earlier.
She shared that her husband sadly passed away 4 years ago. We all felt her sadness but also felt her joy in the life they had built together. She thanked us for supporting them and added “don’t forget about us in the summer when we have the peaches out.”
Her genuinely thankful spirit and kind heart truly touched me. Her words inspired me and started connecting these puzzle pieces in my head about the solution for our group. I truly believe that as much as we loved reading others’ stories, we are all in this season where we are “writing” our own stories. We are all growing our own families. Sometimes talking with fellow parents about those experiences can be so crucial when you need advice or just someone who understands to listen. I decided that we needed to stay together and that we needed each other in this wild season of parenting little ones.
After crying on the way home (this is a common theme) I sorted out *most* of the details in my head. The next day I pitched the idea and it kinda went like this…
“Why not spend this out one night a month NOT feeling guilty about going out but feeling like we are supporting someone in our own community? We can take this time to reconnect with a hobby we love or learn a new skill. Hopefully with a cocktail involved.” They loved it. My heart was so happy for us and for all the Mrs. Kaelins that we would meet along the way.
I cannot wait for us to meet more small business owners who have that spark in their eyes when they talk about how they turned their passion into a business and all the ideas they have for the future.
I will be sharing our monthly nights out describing each of our endeavors. I hope to dive in and get some insider information at each business and the activities they offer. Now, I know not everyone lives in the Pittsburgh area, so I decided to make an outline on how to set up your own Who Let the Moms Out group. It could also be a great outlet for a couples’ night out, roommates, coworkers, etc.
I hope you take this outline, gather your tribe, and seek out some fun activities to support the businesses in your backyard! Tag us along the way on Instagram @thebakerconnection #wholetthemomsout
January 10, 2022